Safety no accident

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A. Since you can't drive it for them, you must take pro-active risk management steps to reduce the chances for an accident. Those steps include:

Maintenance: A service schedule should be developed and implemented for all vehicles, preferably meeting manufacturers' recommendations.  Repairs should be completed only by qualified individuals and records of all work should be maintained. These records could prove to be vital after a crash.

Driver selection: Make certain that all drivers have a valid license that is proper for the vehicle they will be operating. Regular Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) checks should be made on all drivers. It is widely known in the risk management industry that motor vehicle reports which detail a driver's past performance provide a useful means of predicting future driving performance. In addition, post accident defense becomes a problem since the driver's MVR is admissible in court.

Driver training: Drivers should complete training on the vehicle they will be operating. Defensive driving courses are a beneficial tool for reducing accidents. Supervisors should ride with new drivers for at least one day.

Accident reviews: All accidents and near misses should be reviewed with an eye on preventing recurrence. When employees know they will be held responsible for their actions, they will act better.

Driving policies: Policies for operating company vehicles should be developed including rules of the road, daily vehicle inspections, and load maintenance. Policies should prohibit the use of cell phones while driving. The policies should be in writing and employees should sign that they have read and understand them.

These five areas of safety will go a long way in reducing the chances of one of your vehicles being involved in a collision and the accompanying potential worker injuries and accident costs.

Bill Tricarico is director of loss control at McNeil & Company. Reach him at or 800-822-3747 ext. 127.